Tjalka Boorda indigenous community to be demolished

Synarah MurphyThe West Australian
Tjalka Boorda (Three Mile)
Camera IconTjalka Boorda (Three Mile) Credit: Synarah Murphy

One of the six occupied town-based indigenous reserves in the Pilbara will have most of its buildings demolished this month to ensure a safe and secure future for existing residents.

Tjalka Boorda, also known as Three Mile, has been the home of many Aboriginal residents since the late 1960s. The reserve contains 23 buildings, of which only four are occupied.

The State Government plans to demolish 17 houses and six sheds before the dedicated crown land is transitioned to the Kariyarra people.

The plan includes covering relocation costs for the residents who want to move into alternative housing in Port or South Hedland, with a three-year program providing a range of support services for residents and their families.

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But some residents are not happy with the decision.

Tajalka Boorda chairman and resident Kevin Patrick Clifton said he did not want to move and wanted to continue living at his home.

“Why demolish the houses when we just want the houses we live in fixed?” he said. “I have lived on this reserve for more than 10 years and it will be a shame to see this part of Hedland gone.”

The Tajalka Boorda community sits on prime real estate, situated between the South Hedland Shopping Centre and the growing beachside suburb of Pretty Pool.

The Pilbara Development Commission said no residents were being relocated against their wishes. The task of revitalising or closing town-based reserves such as Tjalka Boorda across the Pilbara started two years ago and is only moving out of consultation stages now.

The project aims to ensure residents on government reserves “have access to the same services and opportunities as other residents in the region”.

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